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Design Book



by Mehnaz Rehman

Aurat Foundation Women Activist, Journalist

Birds without wings is the tale of birds, whose wings have been clipped by brutal predators, and of the sanctuary where they seek shelter and healing. This book written by the Irshad Sisters details the stories of several women and a few men, victims of abuse, who were helped by Daya Houston. Daya is an organisation based in the US, which was founded 20 years ago by seven South Asian women immigrants. Its official mission is to empower South Asian survivors of domestic and sexual violence through culturally specific services, and to educate the community in an effort to end the cycle of abuse. The help ranges from providing emotional and legal support to devising safety plans for victims.

This book presents several stories of victims and details Daya’s efforts in helping them. Each account in the book is heart wrenching and relates to unique features of the South Asian immigrant experience.

Overall, this book--while it may ostensibly appear to be about suffering and a sad testimonial to the absolute depths to which the human soul may fall--is a story of hope and redemption. It is a story of ordinary people coming together to help each other; it is a story of overcoming adversity through communal effort; it is a story of how a few tender and brave souls can light a fire that gives light and warmth to several others; and finally it is a story of love that lies buried in all our breasts, which we can also spread to make the world a better place.

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